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Information in Reality. Logic and Metaphysics
Published: 17 June 2010 by MDPI in The 4th International Conference on the Foundations of Information Science session FIS 2010
Abstract: Abstract The recent history of information theory and science shows a trend in emphasis from quantitative measures to qualitative characterizations. In parallel, aspects of information are being developed, for example by Pedro Marijuan, Wolfgang Hofkirchner and others that are extending the notion of qualitative, non-computational information in the biological and cognitive domain and include meaning and function. However, there is as yet no consensus on whether a single accepted definition or theory of the concept of information is possible, leading to many attempts to view it as a complex, a notion with varied meanings or a group of different entities. In my opinion, the difficulties in developing a unified theory of information (UTI) that would include its qualitative and quantitative aspects and their relation to meaning are a consequence of implicit or explicit reliance on the principles of standard, truth-functional bivalent or multivalent logics. In reality, information processes like those of time, change and human consciousness are contradictory: they are regular and irregular; consistent and inconsistent; continuous and discontinuous. Since the indicated logics cannot accept real contradictions, they have been incapable of describing the multiple but interrelated characteristics of information. The framework for the discussion of information in this paper will be the new extension of logic to real complex processes that I have made, Logic in Reality (LIR), which is grounded in the dualities and self-dualities of quantum physics and cosmology. LIR provides, among other things, new interpretations of the most fundamental metaphysical questions present in all discussions of information at physical, biological and cognitive levels of reality including, especially, those of time, continuity vs. discontinuity, and change, both physical and epistemological. I show that it can constitute a novel and general approach to the non-binary properties of information, including meaning and value. These properties subsume the notion of semantic information as well-formed, meaningful and truthful data as proposed most recently by Luciano Floridi. LIR supports the concept of 'biotic' information of Stuart Kauffmann, Robert Logan and their colleagues and that of meaningful information developed by Christophe Menant. Logic in Reality does not pretend to the level of rigor of an experimental or mathematical theory. It is proposed as a methodology to assist in achieving a minimum scientific legitimacy for a qualitative theory of information. My hope is that by seeing information, meaning and knowledge as dynamic processes, evolving according to logical rules in my extended sense of logic, some of the on-going issues on the nature and function of information may be clarified.  Brenner, J. E. 2008. Logic in Reality. Dordrecht: Springer.
Keywords: logic, reality, contradiction, dynamic opposition, process, levels, qualitative, meaning